Location-based Q&A platform and Robert Scoble’s 2011 SXSW favorite pick Localmind has raised $600,000 in angel funding led by Granite Ventures with Real Ventures, iNovia Capital, Ian Sobieski, Peter Bordes, Ty Danco, Zach Aarons, and Ash Jhaveri participating.
Localmind actually differs slightly from fellow Q&A apps like Opinionaided or Locql, because Localmind’s real-time, location-based platform sits on top of existing check-in services like Foursquare and Gowalla. Localmind actually allows you to ask questions of users checked-in at any location or venue.
Users signup using their Foursquare, Gowalla, or Facebook Places account. Every time they check in with their location-based service on Localmind, they can be sent a question about that location. The startup’s iOS, Android and web app will show you who has checkin to a given location using LocalMind, and you can send questions about a venue to users.
Questions are sent to the user using a push notification or SMS. Users can send follow-up messages, and also accrue karma points for helping others. For example, you could use Localmind to find out how crowded the bar is, what the specials a restaurant is offering, or whether the local Starbucks has a line.
Localmind’s co-founder Lenny Rachitsky says that the platform, which launched at SXSW, took off at the convention because people wanted to know how long lines were at parties and which parties were fun. Currently, the apps collectively have 20,000 users, but is seeing a high rate of questions that are answered, with 70 percent of Localmind questions answered. Localmind also recently opened up its API to let startups leverage its realtime Q&A platform for their products.
The startup plans to use the new funding for hiring and product development.
Here’s the demo video Scoble took of Localmind at SXSW.